View Full Version : Economic Issue
Thu, 2nd Aug '01, 9:09pm
I expect that most of you read the excellent article featured on SP's front page today. The one about NWN and the economic problems of persistant online worlds like UO or EQ. Some good points were raised about NWN and these inflation/deflation issues.
Do we know what ALFA is going to do to fix this problem in their world? What ideas to you all have to offer on the problem. I think the 'item sink' option is the best way to go about things. I'm a big fan of the 'decay' or 'break' option. Even though I think having items break on a checked critical miss is also a option. By a 'checked' critical miss I mean that not every natural '1' should result in a breaken weapon just as every natural '20' is not a critical hit. Is a threat or in this case a chance of something happening. A second roll should be made to see if the item in use survives it's saving throw. I think this would be the fairest way of doing things in the 'break' option, but the 'sink' option is still the best. If you wanted you could always used them both and I don't think that would case much of a problem.
What is your take on these options? Which one or combination of them would you suggest ALFA put into use?
Thu, 2nd Aug '01, 10:33pm
I also like the item sink, but I think the vendors should be able to maintain and sell back a limited supply of permanently enchanted items in their inventory.
I don't think that a vendor should ever start with permanently enchanted items, but if a PC sells one, it should be in the vendor's inventory for sale.
Each vendor should have a maximum number of each item that they will be able to maintain in their inventory, after which new items sold to them would "disappear".
For example, let's say this vendor can keep a maximum of 5 +1 swords in his inventory. When he has no +1 swords, he will buy 1 for say 3000 gp and sell it for 4000 gp. If he already has one, he'll buy another for 2500 gp and sell 1 of the 2 for 3500. When he finally has 5, he'll buy 1 for say 500 gp and sell one he has for 1500 gp, but if he buys one, he will still only have 5 in inventory.
That way rare items are very dear, more common items become cheaper the more there are available, but there are never so many that they become worthless. This also allows for a disparity in pricing among vendors depending on what they have in stock, so it may be worthwhile for a PC to do a little shopping around.
Oo! Or maybe the PC have to haggle with the vendors! Anyone remember haggling in the precursor to Ultima, Akalabeth?
[This message has been edited by Blackthorne TA (edited August 02, 2001).]
Thu, 2nd Aug '01, 10:49pm
I'm partial to the decay option as long as there is a way to enable a PC to repair the item, either thru use of items they must carry thus limiting inventory or thru the use of a skill slot.
The problem I see with the limited sink that lets a merchant sell enchanted weapons is that this then defines the dungeons in the area. You see this in most games where as you advance to towns further in the game the weapons become better as the dungeons are going up in level. My impression of NWN was that it was going to more free roaming,ie you walk into a bar with your 1st level char. and there might be a 5th or 10th level party just back from an adventure telling tales. Now selling enchanted weapons in your Guildhall would be a whole other matter but I worry this might lead to hoarding.
[This message has been edited by Capt. Tripps (edited August 03, 2001).]
Fri, 3rd Aug '01, 1:35am
In addition, what about a money sink? When a guild purchases a hall, or a PC decides he has the 100,000 gp to build that keep, where does that money go? That's an awful lot of money to have just lump sum sitting in the castle architects lockbox.
Fri, 3rd Aug '01, 1:36pm
Relic, for the buying or building of halls, houses, keeps, etc I'd expect the DM to 'remove' the money from the game when the coding for the structure is loaded into the game or even before - You have to pay the builders up front.
I'd find it very twinkish if the money to build the keep was just sitting in the coffers.
Fri, 3rd Aug '01, 1:45pm
In the way of magic items, each vendor may or may not begin with a limited supply of certain magic items. Obviously, items which are consumed in use are not the problem. Vendors should offer goods to characters based on how much money they have. If a character does not have enough money to buy that +1 long sword, then the merchant does not even display it. The character simply does not know it is even there. I agree with BTA's limit on the number of certain items that any given merchant can carry total. As for the money situation, each character should have to spend a certain minimum amount of money each week for food, lodging, equipment upkeep, etc., a cost of living expense. This amount should increase with the chatacters level. The more a character has the more lavishly they will live. The DMG suggests a cost for lodging and food per day as follows:
meals*: good-5sp common-3sp poor-1sp
lodging good-2gp common-5sp poor-2sp
* Drinks other than Water and Ale or Wine (in limited quantities) are extra.
Trail rations 5sp per day.
Adventurers with gold in their pockets would not settle for anything less than good accomodations and meals. I would suggest that these costs be multiplied by the characters overall level except for trail rations.
The cost for equipment upkeep should be one tenth of the cost to replace per week. This would suggest that Dorf Oxhead 1st level fighter would incur equipment upkeep costs of 11gp per week for the following equipment:
longsword 15gp cost - 1.5 gp maint
Light X-bow 35gp cost - 3.5 gp maint
Scale mail 50gp cost - 5 gp maint
Explorers outfit 10gp cost - 1 gp maint
The equipment maintenance costs would only need to be spent after returning from an adventure.
Money spent in this manner would not sit in someone's treasure chest collecting dust. This money gets redistributed back into the economy.
There are any number of other ways to reduce the amount of gold available to a character. One just needs to think about it. Training costs to raise levels, or taxes to support the local government (payable at the city gates), and we must not forget that our theif is not the only one town.
If the game does not take into consideration equipment such as bedrolls, tents, torches, etc. (standard adventuring equipment), these costs could also be charged to the character upon returning from an adventure. A one time cost at first then a maintenance cost thereafter. This cost of living expense can be a good way to limit the amount of gold available for a character to spend, so long as the rewards found during the adventure are reasonable.
[This message has been edited by Baldak Oakfist (edited August 03, 2001).]
Fri, 3rd Aug '01, 7:41pm
I agree Baldak! Make it like real life! Let them pay taxes :D After all, somethings got to pay for all the armour these NPC guards are wearing, not to mention the king's palatial expansion. Bob, the taxman NPC could call round and take a fixed percentage of their money as income tax every so often, or take VAT from every transaction. Then you could have guildmasters et al trying to keep the economy under control by changing tax rates, and again like real life it wouldn't work.
Also, Orwell suggested the ideal economic sink in 1984 - WAR! Whenever the economy's inflating too much a DM could go Bang! King declares war! It could be as simple as demanding funds and weapons for the upkeep of the army, or as involved as rampaging armies burning and looting, and property holders having to hire and equip mercenaries to fight them.
[This message has been edited by Ironbeard (edited August 03, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Ironbeard (edited August 06, 2001).]